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Toulouse cassoulet

Eating a Toulouse cassoulet is an essential part of discovering the city. It features on the menu at many of the city’s restaurants. Its recipe varies from one cook to another, but it always contains tasty haricot beans, duck confit and Toulouse sausage.

The recipe for Toulouse cassoulet

A typical dish of the pink city, Toulouse cassoulet consists of some essential ingredients and some ingredients that vary according to the cook. Of course, there is pork (loin, hock, fresh sausage), but there is also duck confit, bacon, local sausage, and neck of mutton. There are also variants with goose fat confit. The haricot beans are regional varieties, such as Tarbes beans. They have a long grain and fleshy, melt-in-the-mouth texture, with a thin skin to let the other flavours seep in. The secret of cooking this regional dish successfully lies in the cooking: Toulouse cassoulet is a dish that must be allowed to simmer for a long time, and is served with grated cheese.

Toulouse cassoulet is made using only local ingredients.

The origins of cassoulet

The debate over the provenance of cassoulet persists. Does it come from Castelnaudary, Carcassonne or Toulouse? It appears that the Romans were already eating mutton and broad bean stew near Narbonne. Historians have traced the origins of cassoulet back to the Middle Ages, but haricot beans only came to the South-West in the 16th century, imported from America. Every cassoulet has its own special local features. Cassoulet from the pink city boasts Toulouse sausage as an ingredient, while the Castelnaudary recipe always contains goose confit, and in Carcassonne, leg of mutton and partridge are added.

Cassoulet de Toulouse


Cassoulet is named after the dish in which it is cooked: the “cassole”. This terracotta container is made by the potters of Issel, a village located 8 km north of Castelnaudary. Its insulating quality is ideal for the slow cooking required for cassoulet, and for ensuring an even distribution of heat in the dish.